Coffee in the office: evolution of coffee houses of tomorrow

Although a coffee bar is an excellent place to drink coffee away from home, the office is where most of the working day is spent and often the place where a large amount of coffee is consumed.

Read more about Global coffee market away from home.
Coffee in the office consumption

In many workplaces today, it is common to find relaxing areas where colleagues can take a break and socialize.

In certain countries the coffee break has always been considered a very important moment of the working day.

This is one reason why coffee consumption in the office is growing globally and in Europe represents, on average, the majority of coffee consumed out-of-home (52% share of total), with peaks in the Nordic countries.

The growth of coffee in the office is linked to the evolution of job methods and workplaces that promote an increasing number of refreshment areas where there is always a coffee machine.

Architecture is adapting to this trend and new offices are designed differently from in the past. Someone even went so far as to define these places as the “coffee houses of tomorrow”.

We are not talking about traditional offices where coffee machines are placed at a single point or only on one floor, but of workplaces with large spaces that facilitate the presence of machines in different areas.

In some countries, for example, coffee machines have been placed on every floor of the office building and this confirms the large use of automatic coffee machines (Office Coffee System, OCS).

Today there is another factor that is revolutionizing the consumption of coffee in the office: the spread of capsule machines.
The variety of blends and, above all, the low price of the machines enables even small companies to equip themselves with a “coffee corner” where they can offer better quality and a wider choice of flavours compared to traditional vending machines.

The “office coffee battle” sees some manufacturers of coffee machines and some coffee brands setting up complete solutions for offices with corners staged as real coffee shops (i.e., Starbucks for business).

Coffee in the office: the growth of European markets

In Europe, the value of coffee consumed in offices is around 3.1 billion euros (sell-in) and has increased by an average of 6.2% in the past three years.
The five main countries (Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom) represent together 72% of the total value with an average growth of 3.3% in the last three years.

Coffe in the office, sell-in value
Find out the other side of this segment, hospitality industry.

The country with the best performance in this area is Germany, with a coffee consumption in the office of 63%, more than half the total coffee consumption outside of the home. The total value of this was of 725 million euros (sell-in) in the last year, with an average growth of 3% over the last three years.

In this country the increase was mainly due to the sale of coffee beans for “OCS table-top” machines, while sales of filtered coffee are decreasing. The machines are generally used free of charge by employees and are positioned in different points (also on the same floor) in order to provide refreshment points near workstations.

In Italy, with approximately 3.7 million registered companies, the percentage of coffee consumption in the office is only around 36% of the total out-of-home segment because there is a greater preference for enjoying coffee in a traditional bar. However, in the last year, sales of coffee in the office have reached a value of 410 million euros (sell-in). Italy and Spain recorded the highest growth, + 5% and + 4.5%, respectively, thanks to the increase in consumption of capsules in the office.

Spain has around 2.7 million registered companies, including many small and medium-sized companies, but coffee consumption in the office is growing. In fact, 50% of out-of-home coffee consumption is in the office and sales have a value of 380 million euros (sell-in) last year.

In France, coffee in the office sales were around 520 million euros, second place in Europe for the amount of coffee consumed in the office. The growth in recent years has been more contained than in the other main European countries (+ 2.5% on average). The number of companies registered in the country is around 3 million (second only to Italy), but most are small or medium.

Coffee in the office segment in the UK has a value of around 245 million euros. After a strong growth in recent years, the average increase was 1.5%. The country suffers from uncertainty regarding Brexit and possible office closures or transfer of offices to other European cities. The number of companies registered is approximately 2.1 million, but with a higher number of medium-large companies compared to the other main countries (second only to Germany).

With respect to other European countries, we can state that some show a very high growth in coffee consumption in the office. In recent years there has been particularly strong growth recorded in Northern Europe and in some Eastern European countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.

Insights and market analyses for countries are available on request contacting
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